Confidentiality and privacy protection are among two of the most crucial factors a medical center has to look after. Those who work in the medical industry, in any capacity, understand it better than everyone else. HIPAA-compliant medical billing service is not a new thing and has proven to be quite effective for the advanced healthcare system.
Taking precautionary steps is of significance but not enough to avoid putting patients’ data at risk. Hospitals might have gone digital but so have hackers. Billing and coding companies must develop practical and upgraded tools to ensure data safety. Doctors share sensitive information now and then with patients and insurance companies. So, it is the duty of a billing firm to save it from any mishap.
This blog will explain why HIPAA compliance is important, the rules for this act, and how to ensure complete safety. Remember that data protection plays a key role in your healthcare center’s reputation.
The Importance of HIPAA for Medical Billing Services:
The cost of data breaches is far more severe than one can imagine. As a result, many healthcare centers outsource HIPAA-compliant billing services to avoid any misfortune. However, there are a few things to keep in mind, such as:
HIPAA Act is Mandatory:
Medical billing organizations that are not in accordance with the safety rules and jeopardize Protected Health Information (PHI) would face a penalty. When it comes to violations, there is no leniency, and those found responsible will be penalized with heavy fines. Not only a fine, but the bad reputation it brings also affects the overall revenue.
Data Breach is Beyond Stealing:
Facilities used to think that unintentional data revealing came under HIPAA infringement. In such a case, a healthcare center has to face monetary loss. However, the updated rules state that giving unauthorized access to data is also a safety breach.
Following is the list of factors that put you at risk:
- When the data, as well as the scope of a medical center, is compromised.
- Any individual or party that accesses the sensitive data or breaks HIPAA rules.
- Safety measures to hinder unauthorized access.
You have a great reputation and people’s trust as long as you are conforming to all the standards. However, do not commit overly to people in order to secure the interests of HIPAA medical billing. Medics should know about the steps billing companies prohibit so you do not commit anything forbidden to a patient.
Things Medical Billing Assistant Should Do:
Billing procedures should aim for accuracy as their next-in-line priority, with infrastructure that supports HIPAA rules as the first. You progress as a company when you comply with the rules. Not many often bat an eye on these things as they are already going through a condition. So keep these things in mind to come off as a trustworthy facility for patients.
3 Golden Rules of HIPAA Medical Billing Services:
The HIPAA has three main rules, Privacy, Security, and Breach Privacy: We will explain them in detail, so you ensure smooth billing operations.
1. Privacy Rule:
These rules make sure that you exchange private data in a secure way. You can coordinate with patients better and provide them with an excellent experience. Also, patients feel in control when they decide what to share and what not to. Not only that, but they can inspect medical records, modify them, get a copy, provide feedback, and report any abuse.
We talked about PHI earlier. It contains information like address, past or present medical condition, healthcare provision, and payments. There are a few rules that you should comply with, which are as follows:
- Educate your patients about their rights to the data
- How to use the info
- Implement privacy protocols when hiring new reps
- Having a QA agent to make sure no modification remains amiss
- Properly take care of the patient’s data
Privacy is not related to an outsider accessing the data but how it should be handled within the institution. For instance, do not share information outside treatment, billing, or related processes. Likewise, do not use it for personal reasons or share it with fellow doctors.
Only share the data when the patient is disabled and if it is in their best interests. You can also use the information for research purposes. However, it is vital to seek a patient’s consent first. On top of that, make sure secure ways are used to share info over email or phone. However, not everyone can guarantee complete safety as a patient might catch a glance of the form or overhear doctors discussing it. HIPAA does not charge people under this. So, do not worry about it and focus on the main causes.
2. Security Rule:
This rule requires healthcare staff to protect a patient’s privacy. It is highly needed in this digital age. You can assess the security threats and devise practical solutions to improve the database. No unauthorized access should be allowed in any case. Having experts on board who are familiar with and adhere to these rules is in your best interest.
So there are various things you need to keep in mind when designing protective steps. You should consider the size, complexity, cost, infrastructure, risks for ePHI, etc. When your patient feels safe with you, their loyalty increases, which boosts your profits. That is why medical billing services need to comply with all the rules and regulations.
3. Breach Privacy Rule:
So what to do in case of a breach or data leak? This rule deals with when PHI is violated. You are obligated to notify those affected, the HSS, and the media. Unpermitted use or disclosure of the data has standards to understand the volume of the breach. For instance, the nature and extent should be examined, who has access to the data, the risk reduction plan, and reporting.
Billing services should get in touch with the authorities right away as delays could cause more damage. However, if you find it later, know where it should be submitted within 60 days. Lack of focus will not only put your center in trouble with the officials but also with people. You do not want to be known as a hospital that does not care about its patients.
You have to report tiny breaches – those affected 500 or fewer people – to the HSS on an annual basis. Similarly, companies must inform their employees regarding the data breach. It would be great to have verified security rules in place. So, if you want to be the number one healthcare center, keep your customer’s data safe with a known billing company.
Medical Billing Service – The Doctor of Security:
There is no doubt in knowing that a reputed billing service in place will not only streamline your process but keep it safe. Data protection is vital in every business, but the medical industry has to take care of it more than anyone else. You have to make sure the info does not fall into the wrong hands. So what is the best way to do that? Follow our guide to know what you need to offer a safe experience.
If you are thinking about outsourcing, look for a provider who does not only claim but also proves its compliance with HIPAA. Those with stringent measures will take a lot of worries off and allow you to focus on your routine tasks. Go over the SLA to know that the billing processes are protected and who will be responsible for any violation. So to avoid any issues, provide your patients the safest experience. Healthcare is not about your well-being only but your privacy too.